Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Tuesday ergo sessions - my new Kurt Kinetic Fluid Trainer

Today I got to try out my new toy, a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer. This thing is good and a lot quieter which puts me in the good books with the missus sleeping next door. And it was almost a pleasure to train on except for the fact that my legs were not cooperating after Saturday's race.

I reflected briefly back to my uni days (over 4 years ago now) remembering one of my Chemical Engineering lectures in the topic of rheology. Rheology is the study of the flow of matter for those not in the know. The fluid inside the trainer is what is known as a shear thickening fluid. To explain this simply, my legs are applying a force to the fluid which causes the fluid to become thicker which makes it harder for me to pedal.

The results? Shear joyous pain.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Northern Combine Broadford Handicap - 13min bunch

Today was tough. 99kms and my bunch only had a 13min over the scratch guys. The pace was flat out for the first lap with the entire bunch rotating and working well to start with. Unfortunately as early as the first sharp climb people started to vacate our group. By the second lap unfortunately the rotations were inconsistent and becoming less frequent. The pain was starting to show on the group. I personally cramped on multiple occasions (how do you stretch out a quad cramp while riding?) but decided to just keep going.  I was considering pulling out after 2 laps, but we got caught by a large bunch and I was able to sit in and recover a little.
I kept going with the help of a few gels and the finishing was starting to look interesting. Unfortunately my new bunch never managed to catch the rest of the field. Personally I was just happy to have finished with the main bunch. Reviewing my Garmin data, I noticed my average heart rate was 162bpm which probably explains why I was in pain by the end. To date this has been my hardest race. On the way home to assist my recovery, I thought I deserved some fried chicken from the kernel.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Time trials - 20km's of pain

Today I gave time trialling a go. It basically meant going as hard as you can personally go for the designated 20km. I am not sure how fun it was and how I actually went as they havn't posted the results yet. Today I at least looked pro in my new wind vest warming up on my trainer. Maybe it didn't look so pro when my bike jumped out of the trainer but at least no one saw that.
It didn't help that I was first out in C grade but at least I didn't get passed by anyone. I felt like I went good as I rode to my plan at my anaerobic threshold for the entire time and ramped up slightly for the last few kilometers. It wasn't a world record time, but it is a bench mark for too beat in the future. I also learned that their is hills in Yarra Blvd, it looked flatter on paper. Today was also a lesson in how much kit I was lacking. I at least need a new TT bike, a full disc, skin suit and a fancy smancy helmet. Plus perhaps if I ask the missus nicely, a power meter would be nice too.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fun in the Dandenongs - Inverness Rd

I had some fun this morning doing repeats on Inverness Rd. A 2.8km climb with an average of almost 9%. A limited nights sleep and a large amount of vino the night before weren't going to play to my advantage. First time up I was trying to match the pace of a few other riders but was unaware it was only going to get worse. I noticed at one point my Garmin was showing a gradient of 23% which probably explained why my heart rate hit 191bpm as they other riders rode away.

The descent was a lot of fun, not flat out fast but was still a great experience for me with nice smooth sweeping corners. The next few times up I took it a little easier and was glad my training bike had a compact gear set on it. I will be back as this was a great training loop and is perfect preparation for the Stratford to Dargo later in the year.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Northen Combine - C grade. 4th place

Today's a road race was out near Hanging Rock. To describe it in one word, I would use cold. To use a second word, I would use windy. But I was still glad to race as there was no rain unlike everyone else in Melbourne. As I am still learning, today I learned that I need more clothing in these conditions, long sleeves and a normal bib didn't cut it. Conditions were tough and to top it off, C grade had to race 90kms which is getting past my comfort zone. Additionally, there was 700m of vertical climbing. The racing had two speeds today: super fast & slow. I spent a bit of energy bridging across to a threatening break which was unfortunately shut down but I could feel my legs were starting to cramp and I was thinking finishing with the bunch would be a good outcome.

I have never done too much descending, but today I started to feel a little bit more comfortable and hit just over 73km/h which is my highest speed on my Garmin to date. As we entered the final 10 k's the bunch was tired and the pace was slow enough for me to be in my recovery (E1) zone. As we all turned the second last corner, the pace finally was starting to lift and I started following wheels working my way to the front. At one point I even hit the front of the peloton but I was able to pace myself and not blow up. Hitting the last corner, it was 1km up hill finish. I could feel my legs starting to cramp, but I decided to ignore them and kept myself close to the front. Up the final hill I let loose with everything I had left and passed a few riders which was enough for me to roll come 4th. I was very happy but barely able to ride my bike back to the car.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What you missed this morning (WYMTM)

For me it way my first official indoor ergo session, the data is truncated for some reason but you get the picture.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to a recovery day. The hardest thing about it will be making sure I actually recover and not to chase down everyone on Beach rd.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Phillip Island Cycling Grand Prix - C Grade

Today was my largest race to date, 70km which equaled 16 laps of the grand prix circuit. It was a large field of approx 90 starters with most riders wearing shop kits and me, a single Wellington rider representing. Speed was steady all day averaging a touch over 38km/h which almost seemed to halve the field by the end. I was fairly active early on at the front and accidentally rode off solo at one stage in my usual fashion.
 This all started to take its toll and as I could see the likelihood of a break away being fairly low, I moved to the back of the field to chill. I also realized I hadn't brought any food/gels which would have helped. The climb grew larger with each lap and I could feel the muscles in my legs starting to tighten each time the pace increased.
As the bell signaled the last lap, everyone was on edge and starting to jostle for position. I made my way to the front multiple times but everyone was continually rotating over taking up the whole width of the track. I hit the climb in the big ring and held my position up the hill, but by the time we hit the main straight I had slipped. I managed to roll through just behind the top 10 which I thought was a solid effort. Next time I will bring some gels and with a bit more structured training ,will hopefully place in C grade before I know it.